Tagged Articles

disaster 42 articles

To Help Disaster Victims, Keep Your Stuff and Send Cash

Think before you donate items in response to a natural disaster. That’s the message relief agencies desperately wish to send to well-meaning individuals. Nice gestures and good intentions often translate to nightmares for the victims of natural disasters and the relief organizations trying to help them. According to CBS News, wherever a disaster strikes, there are often mountains of unneeded and useless donations that pile up in warehouses, beaches, landfills, airport runways, and just about every other place imaginable. “Generally after a disaster, people with loving intentions donate things that cannot be used in a disaster response, and in fact ... Read More

BP puts oil spill cleanup into high gear on Mississippi’s barrier islands

PASCAGOULA, Mississippi—As the tides change and sands shift along Mississippi’s barrier islands, more oil, tar, and debris from BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico resurfaces. Now the company BP hired to lead oil spill cleanup efforts in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama has dispatched about 200 workers to the barrier islands in an effort to ramp up environmental cleanup operations. A BP spokesman told the Mississippi Press that most cleanup work on the islands was suspended in March during bird nesting season, although small crews of five to six workers continued to remove tar and oil-covered debris ... Read More

New offshore drilling safety rules are laughable, environmental groups warn

U.S. regulators have finalized new rules governing the safety of offshore oil drilling operations, but environmental groups say the new regulations don’t go far enough to protect oceans from catastrophes such as BP’s 2010 Gulf oil spill. The revised rules issued on Wednesday deal with certain elements of well design and the testing of well cementing and barriers. The rules also require offshore drillers to use independent, third-party inspectors to test and certify that blowout preventers are capable of killing the flow of oil at the well. The blowout preventer, which is considered the last line of defense against a ... Read More

New oil spill claims admin assures Alabamians of fairer process

The Louisiana lawyer chosen to take over the BP oil spill claims process was in Mobile last week to give Alabamians hurt by the spill an update on the new claims center’s progress. Patrick Juneau became head of the new Deepwater Horizon Claims Center after BP and the Plaintiffs Steering Committee reached an agreement in March ahead of what promised to be a long, drawn out trial. Part of the settlement stipulated a new claims center to replace the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), along with a new administrator to replace Ken Feinberg. “This is no Feinberg operation,” U.S. Rep. ... Read More

New lawsuit against EPA seeks rules on oil dispersant use

A group of environmental and public health organizations jointly filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Monday in Washington D.C., claiming the agency’s rules governing the use of chemical oil dispersants do not meet Clean Water Act requirements. The lawsuit was prompted by BP’s use of Corexit chemical dispersants to break up the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which gushed out of control for three months. The plaintiffs, which include conservation and wildlife groups, hope the lawsuit will compel the EPA to issue tougher regulations on the use of oil dispersants and specify where the chemicals can be ... Read More

Dispersants used to fight BP oil spill damaged marine food chain, study finds

Alabama researchers studying the impact oil dispersants used to break up oil from BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill have found that the chemicals and the way in which they were used may have devastated the food chain in certain parts of the Gulf of Mexico. The study, published Tuesday in the scientific journal PLoS ONE and praised by peers for its scope and accuracy, simulated the effects of pollutants on phytoplankton and ciliates by pumping water from Mobile Bay into large drums. Researchers then added oil, chemical dispersants, and a combination of both oil and dispersants to the water samples ... Read More

Engineers put new oil spill containment system to the test in the deep Gulf

An experimental capping stack system that could potentially be used to stop stronger, deeper oil spills than BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster is being tested at a secret location in the Gulf of Mexico. Federal regulators from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement were on site to witness the towering device being lowered with wires onto a test wellhead 7,000 feet below the surface. Houston-based Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) engineered the capping system. The company was established by several large offshore oil drillers in response to tougher government drilling requirements created in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, ... Read More

New study links BP oil spill to dolphin deaths

BP’s 2010 oil spill contributed to conditions that led to the deaths of hundreds of dolphins in the northern Gulf of Mexico, a new study conducted by half a dozen Southern universities and research institutes concluded. The study, published in the journal PLoS One, points to three manmade and environmental stresses that formed a recipe for disaster for dolphins living along the Northwestern Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana coasts: the BP oil spill, which erupted off the Louisiana coast and released more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf; the unusually cold winter of 2010; and an influx ... Read More

U.S. probe finds major safety deficiencies contributed to BP oil spill

A government safety probe into the cause of BP’s oil spill asserts that the oil giant focused too much on small details involving personal safety while losing sight of larger, more systemic dangers that threatened the entire operation. The 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion killed 11 workers and released more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico from the blown-out Macondo well a mile below the surface. BP leased the Deepwater Horizon rig from Transocean, which kept a crew onboard to operate the platform. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board also said that generally BP ... Read More

Businesses and individuals statewide now eligible for oil spill damages

Individuals and businesses on Alabama’s Gulf Coast bore the brunt of damage from BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, but the oil disaster also dealt a severe blow to people, companies, and even some municipalities all over the state, although the damage may not be as obvious. Now, thanks to a landmark settlement between BP and the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, anyone hurt by the oil spill is entitled to compensation through an improved claims process and fairer terms, even if they aren’t anywhere near the coast. As part of Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the BP oil spill litigation, Beasley Allen ... Read More